Why on earth did John McCain just rescue Chuck Hagel’s nomination?
Why did he go on Meet the Press this morning to say that Chuck Hagel was going to get confirmed as Secretary of Defense?
McCain argued that Hagel had the votes to be confirmed and that he didn’t want the process to be delayed further.
But if that is the case then why did Bob Woodward go on Fox News yesterday to say that Democratic Senators were calling the White House to ask when Hagel was withdrawing?
Now I doubt Woodward would have dropped that tidbit if there wasn’t sufficient discord amongst Democrats to thwart Hagel’s confirmation. But now that McCain has said that Hagel has the votes those Democrat Senators who might have otherwise voted against Hagel have now been given the room they need to confirm him.
The whole point of the filibuster is to germinate the seeds of doubt amongst Senators whose commitment is less than rock solid. Now McCain has uprooted those seeds.
Consider that Hagel is less than familiar with the inner workings of the Pentagon never mind our policy on Iran as demonstrated during his inept performance at his confirmation hearing. What must also be considered is his Chomskyite view that Israel is a greater threat to the world than Iran. If this doesn’t demand Senate Republicans move heaven and earth to stop Hagel’s nomination then nothing will.
As it stands, Republicans lack the zeal necessary to carry out the function of a loyal opposition. If Republicans had a caucus full of Ted Cruzs that might not be the case.
This is, of course, all Obama’s doing. After all, as I wrote recently, he foisted Hagel upon us and in so doing demonstrated poor judgment. But I also made a point of saying that if the Senate confirms Hagel they too will be guilty of poor judgment. It appeared that the Senate was having sober second thoughts about Hagel. Unfortunately, McCain’s remarks on Meet the Press have done away with that sobriety and has now put Hagel’s nomination back on track.
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